For the best relationship insight and advice, turn to a divorce attorney. After all, every day they have a front-row seat to the kinds of petty drama and missteps that lead couples to split up.
With that in mind, we asked family law attorneys from across the country to share some of the most obvious signs that a couple is likely to divorce.
1. They give each other the silent treatment.
“It’s a bad sign if a couple bickers and it results in the silent treatment. Sure, fighting is healthy in a relationship but when it turns from playful to serious on a regular basis — and it ends in stonewalling — that doesn’t bode well for long-term success.” — Jason Levoy, an attorney and divorce coach in New York City
2. Their s*x life is lackluster.
“This seems obvious and it is. People can go without s*x, but the bottom line is that we are living creatures and s*x is a natural desire. Yes, there are relationships that endure without s*x, but as a divorce lawyer, it’s not a shock when a client tells me they have gone years without having s*x with their partner.” — Randall M. Kessler, an attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
3. They have very little in common.
“While it’s true that opposites attract, don’t assume that the qualities you fell in love with are going to keep a marriage together. For example, if someone is an extrovert and loves going out until the wee morning hours and the other spouse likes a warm bath at 7 p.m. followed by a glass of milk and a good book, there is no way the couple can sustain this lifestyle distance.” — Lisa Helfend Meyer, a divorce attorney in Los Angeles, California
4. Their careers always come before the family.
“It can be a problem when a partner always puts his or her career above everything else, including the relationship. This tends to be true, regardless of the agreement the couple has come to during the marriage. For example, my firm has represented laser-focused military members, whose partners initially agreed to take a backseat and raise the family so the military member could advance. But over the years, the stay-at-home spouse begins to resent the situation. Even the strongest relationships decay over time when one person puts their career aspirations ahead of the relationship.” — Christian Denmon, a divorce attorney in Tampa, Florida
5. They have contempt for one another.
“Eye-rolling, belittling and treating each other with disdain are key indicators that a relationship will eventually disintegrate. While spouses don’t have to always see eye-to-eye to have a happy marriage, they do have to respect each other and appreciate their differences, rather than viewing those differences as being signs that the other spouse is stupid or wrong.” — Karen Covy, an attorney and divorce coach in Chicago, Illinois
6. They don’t respect each other’s love language.
“Knowing your partner’s love language — being aware of how he or she feels appreciated — is crucial for long-term success in marriage. Although spouses may love each other, they may not feel loved if they have different love languages. For instance, if one spouse shows love by doing helpful things or by buying gifts, but the other receives love through verbal affirmations, loving touch or quality time together, the love may not really be received.” — Dennis A. Cohen, an attorney and mediator in Marina del Rey, California
7. They’re not honest about their spending.
“A marriage is a partnership and each person should be accountable to the other for their family’s finances. When the finances are split, it’s easy for both partners to overspend. A couple can keep separate or joint bank accounts, but when there is no transparency on how money is being spent and saved, it’s nearly impossible to set and reach financial goals like buying a home or planning for retirement. It becomes a growing frustration.” — Puja A. Sachdev, a divorce attorney in San Diego, California
8. They never fight.
“Many spouses tend to avoid awkward situations and problems by either ‘shading the truth’ or ignoring something that has been on their mind. This leads to resentment. This person is your best friend, confidante and lover. You should be able to say anything to them. You should be able to to accept one another’s comments without destroying the bonds of matrimony.” — Douglas S. Kepanis, a divorce attorney in New York City.